Who has not seen the disturbing cases of hoarders, cramming up every last inch of their house on cable TV? The Mayo Clinic defines “Hoarding” as: “Excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them." While hoarding regarding living conditions is not that widespread (I mean how many hoarders do you personally know?), it is, unfortunately, pretty widespread in the world of resumes. A lot of people try to pack every little job, certificate, or even university coursework into their resumes. The bad news here is: too much of non-vital information on your resume will shatter your chances of getting an interview. Whitespace is a very limited resource when writing a resume. You usually get approximately two pages to present yourself (maybe three if you are a seasoned executive). So, candidates have to choose wisely about what to include on their resume. Do you try to cram every little thing you've ever done into your resume? Here are three signs you're a hoarder on your resume:
1. You Include Things That Don't Add ValueThe number one resume hoarder argument for including job irrelevant information on a resume is, “But I worked so hard for this certificate/award/publication that I feel I just have to mention it on my resume, and so on.” These people are probably right. It was probably a lot of work. But do you really want to hurt your future career just because you worked hard on something in the past? Have you ever bought an item in the store that you were not interested in just because the salesperson told you that it took a lot of work to build this product? Most likely not. HR and recruiters act the same way we do in the store: we buy a product because it has an added value for us. Therefore, a candidate’s number one priority has to be to show added value.
2. You Can't Let Go Of The PastA common resume hoarder misconception might get uttered the following way, “It won’t hurt if I include my college jobs/part-time job from 20 years ago, and so on. HR will figure it out and look only for the information they are interested in.” The bad news for resume hoarders: no, HR won’t. HR and recruiters take between seven and 30 seconds to scan a resume, according to the latest industry studies. Now, do you want HR to spend their seven seconds reading your recent accomplishment of boosting sales by 30% in the last three quarters and your proven ability to lead people, or about how you started out your career in the 70s as a bank teller of a long gone bank?
3. You Don't Cut To The ChaseNot cutting down your resume to the essentials bears another risk with the hiring authorities. Employers look for problem solvers. How strong of a case as a credible problem solver do you think you can make with a jam-packed resume that's bursting at the seams? Your resume does not only present you, but also provides your potential employer with your first piece of work. If you can’t cut to the chase regarding yourself, how would you possibly be able to deliver a straight to the point business report? If you take just one thing from this article, it should be that it is not the main task of a resume to include everything about you that you have ever done. You have to entice the reader, so choose wisely. If you are still not absolutely sure, feel free to shoot me an email via my website www.windhof-communications – I provide free resume checks!
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